[Oeva-list] Update on HB2328

Myles Twete matwete at comcast.net
Thu May 5 09:50:43 PDT 2011

This could be an interesting discussion.  I guess I've always thought of
batteries as some hybrid mix of fuel and tank.  And the viewpoint depends
largely on usage I think.  If EV manufacturers and EV infrastructure
developers committed to standardized, swappable battery packs, no one would
consider the battery packs as part of the car.  Milburn in about 1918
advertised this same feature and there was a dealer in Chicago (Fashion Auto
Garage) that sold the cars at reduced prices without packs such that the
battery packs were leased and could be "rolled on and off" within 5 minutes.
The battery packs were not considered anything but fuel in that case---or
rather, it was a swapping of an empty fuel tank for a full fuel tank.


Nevertheless, fuel cells, ultracaps and batteries are energy storage devices
and should probably best be considered analogous to fuel tanks as you

But where the fuel tank argument gets awkward is longevity.  A gas car's
fuel tank doesn't normally have to be replaced during the life of the car,
even up to 300k miles.  Noone reasonably expects batteries to go that far,
do they?  


But we might not want to use "fuel tanks" as the analogy too loudly if we
want to not induce fear: fuel tanks, pintos, kaboom.


Anyway, there's no argument that batteries are energy storage devices as are
fuel tanks.  But if you want to consider batteries as part of the car, you
are narrowly viewing the future as precluding either battery leasing or


-Myles Twete


From: oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org [mailto:oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org] On
Behalf Of The Donovans
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 8:09 AM
To: Scott Hippe; oeva-list at oeva.org
Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328


Hi Scott,


I can appreciate and understand your perspective of considering the
batteries as fuel. Frankly, I had not thought of it that way before your


My perspective has been that batteries are a car part, just like any other
part. In fact, batteries play a similar role as a fuel tank plays in a
gasoline vehicle. I've looked as batteries as a car part for a couple


1. Without looking at them as car parts, there is virtually no maintenance
costs on an EV. So it is hard for people to compare. And that is why I don't
tell people maintenance costs are necessarily less on an EV. Because you do
have that expensive maintenance cost in the future.


2. Seeing batteries as a "fuel tank" makes it easier for people to
understand the purpose that batteries play in an electric vehicle.


3. One of my selling points for EVs is that by driving EVs, we are buying US
made energy and keeping more jobs and money in the US. While there are some
US manufacturers of batteries, many of the batteries or raw materials to
make the batteries come from other countries. Looking at batteries as part
of the fuel could hurt that message a bit.


Richard Donovan



From: Scott Hippe <scott.hippe at me.com>
To: oeva-list at oeva.org
Sent: Wed, May 4, 2011 11:57:53 PM
Subject: Re: [Oeva-list] Update on HB2328

I agree with all those things you say and to me it reinforces the need to
think of the battery pack as fuel.  This could be a
good discussion for future meetings.  I would like to hear all opinions.

One of the things non-EV people seem to fear (based on what they say) is
that they seem to assume that an EV is worthless
when the battery pack reaches 'end of life'.  They fear this 'big expense'
to occur some time in the future.  And they equate it
to their experience of having a high mileage ICE car and the transmission
goes out.  Then their car becomes 'worthless' and they have
to decide whether to sell it for scrap, or dump in more money to fix the the
transmission and perhaps risk something else
going out. I am sure many people reading this have faced this sometime in
their lives.

But with my thinking, if the pack is thought of as fuel, then you are not
dumping money into this car to replace some broken part,
but simply pre-buying more fuel.  Evaluating the used EV is easier than the
used ICE because, yes, we expect millions of miles on an
electric motor and there are so few parts in the drive train that could fail
and escape your attention.  So if the body is in good shape and the interior
is not ripped, one would be happy to buy a new pack, because that money is
pre-buying fuel for the next
100,000 miles or more. If I were to buy a used EV, the best time to buy
would be right at the end of life of the pack, or
right after the pack was swapped with a new one.  In both cases, you can
accurately value this purchase.  It would be harder to
value a used EV with 50,000 miles on the pack, because you may have no idea
how the previous owner drove and treated the pack
(i.e. wasted fuel).

The other reason I think of the pack as fuel is because then the current
cost of an EV actually becomes competitive with an ICE
car without any incentives.  A $25,000 ICE can be compared with a $35,000 EV
because of the prepaid fuel concept.  At the time
of purchase, most people never consider that they are going to spend $12,000
or more on gasoline over the next 100,000 miles.

Perhaps we should not get hung up on the meaning of fuel, my purpose is
simply to create an analogy that makes it easier to have a common ground to
evaluate the economics between an ICE or EV purchase.  Once we get someone
true costs, then we can talk about other interesting topics like how much
electricity was consumed fueling their ICE car and other
social costs.


On May 4, 2011, at 10:57 PM, Theoldcars at aol.com wrote:

> Hello Scott
> I disagree about including the batteries as part of the fuel cost for
these reasons.
> One an ICE motor or transmission can fail at 100,000 or 150,000. I have
had to replace transmissions at 50,000 miles and even one motor. This is out
of small fleet of ICE vehicles and they always seem to last at least until
the warranty is up.
> An EV AC traction motor is good for about one million miles. The gear
reduction is a sealed unit and will not fail for a very long time. So the EV
drive would save you the cost of replacing motors at 200,000 miles.
> Yes the replacement cost of the pack is expensive but it is about the cost
of the 5 engines you don't have to buy for one million EV miles. Even after
one million miles your only service work would be to replace two bearings.
This would be far less costly then any ICE rebuild. Even if you had to
replace the whole AC drive and gear reduction unit the cost would be a
bargain compared to an ICE motor. As an example the drive pod for an S-10 EV
which includes the motor was brand new in the box 1500 dollars list price
from GM. They sold out several years ago.  I suspect a few EV guys figured
out what a bargain that was for an EV project.
> Also I would not be surprised if the batteries last 150,000 to 200,000
miles if not abused. They would be useable for even longer if you can get by
with less range. Right now I am driving an S-10 with 12 year old NiMH
batteries. Range is about 50 miles but they just refuse to die as long as
you treat them kindly. The RAV4 EV under the right conditions using the same
chemistry is good for 150,000 miles. The Leaf should far exceed the cycle
life of these older NiMH modules.
> I do agree that pack costs will come down. Also it is most likely that by
the time a replacement pack is needed battery technology is going to be
greatly improved.
> Not sure if this changes your point of view but some things you might
> Don
> In a message dated 5/4/2011 6:30:50 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
oeva-list-request at oeva.org writes:
> Message: 3
> Date: Wed, 04 May 2011 06:26:50 -0700
> From: Scott Hippe <scott.hippe at me.com>
> Subject: [Oeva-list] Fwd:  Update on HB2328
> To: oeva-list at oeva.org
> Message-ID: <A25ED67A-A467-4BBB-A19C-C4CC6256A449 at me.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> In my opinion, EV fuel is the battery + electricity.  The battery is
"prepaid fuel".  For a Leaf, if you assume battery cost is $10,000.00 and
you expect
> 100,000 miles on a battery, your total fuel cost over 100,000 miles is
$10,000.00 + $2,000 (electricity).  That works out to $.12/mile.  If you
> your battery well, and your battery lasts more than 100,000 miles, well
thats just an additional benefit.  We also assume that when it is time to
> replace the battery (essentially prepay more fuel), the battery cost will
be much lower due to technology and mass production.
> To compare an ICE, 30 mpg * $4.00/gallon = $.12/mile as well.  But it is
easy to assume that over the next 8 years that the price of gas will
> Also there are all kinds of social costs produced by the ICE during the
100,000 miles that are not accounted for.  And the 3333 gallons of gas that
> ICE uses over 100,000 miles required a significant amount of electricity
to produce and deliver which is of course also hidden from view.
> Scott
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